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THE DILLON CASEY INTERVIEW – MVP

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MICHAEL:

In tonight’s episode of “MVP,” the Mustangs hockey team goes on the road and all hell breaks loose when Trevor goes wild with the “ Puckbunnies”! It seems like viewers have slowly been watching Trevor’s turn to the dark side. I actually think it started with him driving the Escalade through the car dealership storefront? Do you think that was the turning point?

DILLON:

After the incident when I drive off in the Escalade, there is a moment in episode six that you don’t really expect of a guy like Trevor, but he does it anyway. He finally hooks up with Molly.

MICHAEL:

But, you enjoyed that episode?

DILLON:

Yes. That was a great episode. The thing about it was, it was all improvised. They didn’t really want me to drive through the window. I did that and they happened to catch it on camera! (He laughs) The thing about Trevor is, in previous episodes, when you watch him; he is getting pulled in all these different directions. He pretty much is letting people take full advantage of him and you don’t understand why. He is just this guy who wants to please everybody, and finally, he has had enough. He is tired of doing what everyone else expects of him, and he finally has enough. They want him to buy a Mustang and he says, “I’m not buying a Mustang.” So, he gets in the car and pulls out of the dealership window, and the sales guy makes a racial slur to him, and that was the icing on the cake.

MICHAEL:

Now, you had highlights in your hair that you were cutting off in the mirror because your character was getting fed up. That was shortly before driving the Escalade through the dealership storefront. It seems Trevor may need some anger-management! But, how did the hair highlights come about in the storyline?

DILLON:

What we did in that episode was my agent wanted to give Trevor a makeover… to give Trevor more of a media friendly image. They had him doing the underwear ad, which he did, and that did not end up turning out so well. Well, I guess it did. (He laughs) Basically, his agent catches him off guard and tells him. “We have a cereal company and it’s going to be great.” You know, Trevor is this kid from Loon Lake, and in the morning he is the kind of guy that throws on whatever is in front of him, and he never has really had to think about how he gels his hair. He has a sort of ‘get up and go’ mentality, and all of a sudden, he has this agent telling him how to dress, how to talk to people, and what to do with his hair. There is a part of him that knows that something is up, especially when he walks into the locker room in a suit. “Team Trevor” put the highlights in his hair. I did not dye my hair in real-life. They put in extensions and blonde clips, and red clips.

MICHAEL:

So you don’t like colorful extensions?

DILLON:

It’s not really my style. That’s kind of the point. They were supposed to look ridiculous. It was funny!

MICHAEL:

Was it fun to take Trevor to the dark side?

DILLON:

I always looked at Trevor as a guy who is between Gabe and Damon. I would look at Peter Miller’s character of Damon and think that is the most fun character to play on the show. The bad guy is always the most fun. When Trevor goes to the dark side I get to be more like Damon Trebuchet. So, the scenes were a lot of fun in episode 7. My favorite scene coming up has Damon and Trevor partying. At this point, Trevor has decided to become Damon. He goes to Lagoon, which is the “MVP” version of the Playboy Mansion, and it’s no holds barred for Trevor. He is just a kid in a candy store. He is a young Damon Trebuchet, by this point.

MICHAEL:

Moving forward, will Trevor Lamonde fans get to see their young hockey superstar redeemed?

DILLON:

Again, I can’t give that all away, but I can tell you there is an arc to the character and he does do a lot of things that he regrets, and it’s a turning point. There is a strong one coming up that is very interesting to see!

MICHAEL:

What are Trevor’s true feelings about the girls in his life, Molly and Tabbi?

DILLON:

Tabbi is the girl that he loved. She is his first love. She is the girl he grew up with in Loon Lake; she was there before all the fame and distraction. When Trevor gets out there into this world, there is all this temptation, and of course, the number one temptation that is out there is Molly. Molly is Trevor’s sort of ‘fatal attraction’.

MICHAEL:

She is so obvious in her seduction of Trevor, though!

DILLON:

She is so obvious, and she is so good-looking, that what guy wouldn’t like being charmed by a girl like Molly. So Trevor is not fighting it. He is also young and naïve about things like that. Then, Tabbi shows up with her Nana. Trevor is just trying to be a young kid experiencing all his success, and his girlfriend shows up with her grandma. He feels it’s preventing him from what he wants to do. There is a backlash to that. However, cheating on Tabbi with Molly was not a good call, by any means. The audience should not let Trevor off the hook for that one. When it comes to Molly, I think it was wrong that she was all over him, and Trevor just didn’t know what to do.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Natalie Krill, who plays Molly, and Anastasia Phillips, who plays Tabbi?

DILLON:

I would always hit on them relentlessly, but they both had boyfriends. It was great! We were all really great friends, and it was funny to know that Anastasia, who played Tabbi, and I found out we had a lot of friends that we both went to university with. So, we had a lot in common with mutual connections. We were immediate friends. Natalie and I had the same sense of humor. We got along really well, and all of it was good. Everybody on the set got along so well, and that is one of the saddest reasons for it being cancelled, because we were all such good friends. It was sad to think that we would not all hang out again.

MICHAEL:

Was there a scene or moment when you thought, “I was really good in this,” or one that you’re most fond of?

DILLON:

Literally, my favorite is a minute or two long scene where I silently sit there and stare at women in episode seven. It was my favorite scene and it came very natural for me (He laughs). There was another great scene with Peter Miller, where we are partying really hard, and it was a lot of fun because they did not yell, “cut”. We just finished and improvised for an extra two or three minutes, and it was so funny!

MICHAEL:

We hear you are working and studying with the famed comedy improv group, Second City, up in Toronto. Is that true?

DILLON:

I am doing the Second City conservatory. Comedy is my number one passion, and where I would like to go. I love doing Second City. It’s so much fun! I have been doing it for two years, and so have my brothers. There is a big improv scene in Toronto, and it’s so much fun and such a rush.

MICHAEL:

Was it hard to play the country bumpkin that Trevor was, to turning into the guy seduced by power, women and money?

DILLON:

You know what I found difficult was when I would think, “Why would anybody in their right mind let anybody do this to them, and take advantage of them in this way?” But, I guess for anyone from a small town going to a big city, things start to happen. Pulling off the character was a lot of fun. It was fun having such opposites on the show. The guy coming from the small town, and then having the guy have everything, was not hard to do.

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MICHAEL:

Now, being the half-naked poster boy in Times Square on the billboard, and with all the SOAPnet promos, how is that experience for you? You’re half-naked in your underwear, so what were your thoughts?

DILLON:

First of all, I am way more than half-naked! When we took those pictures I did not know they were going to be on a billboard at all. I got a phone call that said, “We just want to run this by you, that you are going to be on a billboard we are printing and it’s going to be in Times Square. I went, “Oh, oh, well that’s cool. I did not know how to respond. Then, people were calling me asking if I was going to go down and see it. Then my dad really wanted to go, so we went down to New York City, and we told SOAPnet we were going, and they brought the camera out. I did not know how I was going to react. I did not know if I was going to see the billboard and be overly excited and go nuts. It wasn’t really that. I looked at it and I was happy, and it was really cool. It was surreal, if anything.

MICHAEL:

So, I’m sure what’s come out of that is, you are now on “The Sexiest Men list”, all over the world, and a sex symbol to people. How does that feel?

DILLON:

What’s strange is a lot of this has happened so fast. This whole thought of being a celebrity doesn’t exist as powerfully in Toronto, as it does in LA. There is definitely a sense of it. If I am talking to somebody and they are not really saying anything, and there is not a lot of eye contact, they will go, “Why is your friend being such a jerk to me?” And my friends say to me, “Dude, they are nervous talking to you!” I don’t think of myself in that way, but it takes my brothers or my friends to point it out to me. People that recognize me the most are other actors. They will come up to me and say, “Hey, congratulations on the show. I have never seen a show like that come out of Canada.” That’s really good to hear. The billboard itself is also great Second City material, for them to make fun of me. Just like after a class or show, people will want to go to a bar and I will go, “How about this bar?” And they will always joke, “Oh, just because he is on a billboard in Times Square we have to go to that bar!” OK, ‘Mr. Celebrity and Mr. Times Square’. Overall, I would not say my life has changed.

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MICHAEL:

Is it true that in the audition a lot of guys had to take off their clothes or their shirts, or something?

DILLON:

Well, I don’t know what anybody else had to do. My first audition was a regular audition where I had to do some lines, and felt pretty good about it. Then, I got a call from my agent saying that I needed to go back to the auditions. So, I went back and the directors and the casting directors were there. I did what I did before in the other scene, and then they go, “OK. Now that was great, but now we are going to do another scene where your character is asked to do an underwear ad, and have these pictures taken of him, where he screams like an animal at the end.” So I was like, “OK, that sounds good.” They go, “No, no, you have to take your shirt off. This is an underwear ad.” I go, “OK. I guess I will do that.” I had to for my callback. So, the way I got the part was taking my shirt off and screaming, and they gave me the part.

MICHAEL:

To be in shape like you are, how often do you work out?

DILLON:

I go there five times a week. I grew up in competitive sports. I was a tennis player and quit that when I was 10 years old. I was a member of a gym, and I am a pretty anxious guy. So, I started going to the gym after I stopped playing tennis. With all this extra energy it just became a habit.

MICHAEL:

So, since “MVP” centers around hockey, and Canada is famous for it, are you a hockey buff in real life?

DILLON:

To be honest, I am one of those guys that when the playoffs are on, and if Toronto or Montreal is in the play-offs, I will watch. But, I don’t really care that much and I am not ashamed to admit it. All my friends love it. To be honest, I think there is too much of it up here. I wish Canada would pay attention to some of its other athletes, because there is no reason we should not have amazing tennis and baseball players. I love hockey and I love how Canadians love it, but we are a big country and there should be more variety here.

MICHAEL:

What would people be most surprised to know about you, that they wouldn’t expect from a guy like you?

DILLON:

I think, Second City. I have a production company with my brothers and we have two series in development now in Canada. We are all writers and producers, and also I think what surprises most people is that I have a Masters Degree in Economics. That is surprising to me. (He laughs) So, that is why I think it would surprise most people.

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MICHAEL:

What made you go into acting?

DILLON:

The bigger question is what made me get my Masters in Economics? Acting was actually a fallback if this ‘economics’ thing didn’t’ work out. It was in my third year at the university that I realized I liked acting. I applied for my Masters, and then I went to audition in Toronto. I landed a big job in a show during exam time in April called, “Eleven Cameras” and it was my first big role. Then, that put me in the position that I could audition for anything in Toronto. Right after that, I auditioned for “MVP” and I got the part of Trevor Lamonde. Since then, I have been acting full time as much as I can. There are ups and downs with whether you are working. It’s either a lot or not at all.

MICHAEL:

Would you consider a move to Los Angeles at this point, or are you planning on staying in Canada right now?

DILLON:

I have duel citizenship to the States and Canada. So, I definitely will be moving to Los Angeles at some point. Right now the plan is October. I was planning on going down this year, but there was the writer’s strike and that was pretty bad, and there was an earthquake today in LA, so I knew it wasn’t the right time for it to happen. (He laughs) But October seems like a great time.

Don’t miss episode seven, “the Code, on “MVP” tonight on SOAPnet, Thursday July 31st at 11 PM ET/PT! And keep up with “MVP” by logging onto www.soapnet.com. “He Shoots … She Scores!”

General Hospital

(INTERVIEW) William deVry Talks on His Roles in Hallmark’s ‘A Whitewater Romance’, New Film ‘Pocket of Hope’ and His Time on the Soaps

For soap favorite, William deVry life-after-daytime has been reinvigorating, filled with new projects and new directions. This Saturday, May 11th he can be seen in the latest rom-com from Hallmark, A Whitewater Romance (8pm ET/PT) starring Cindy Busby as Maya and Ben Hollingsworth as Matt who play intense business rivals, and featuring Will as Jim Burdett, set against the backdrop of the outdoors and Canada.

In addition, Wil has been busy prepping other projects in which he is executive producing and starring including: Colt & McQueen and Christmas in Bordeaux, and producing and starring in a very dramatic departure for deVry, as the lead in the new true-life story feature film, Pocket of Hope.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Wil to get the lowdown on his latest and upcoming roles, his expanding career aspirations, and to get his reflections on his three main soap roles: Julian Jerome on General Hospital, Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and Michael Cambias on All My Children. Read on for what deVry has been up to of late and his reflections of the past.

Courtesy/Hallmark

In A Whitewater Romance, you play the character of Jim Burdett, tell me about him?

WIL: My character runs this whitewater rafting company and the deal is that there’s a corporate retreat that is organized at my company. Jim is sort of old school. He’s been running the company for quite a lot of years. Jim’s not social media savvy. In the story, Maya and Matt get there, and they end up obviously enjoying themselves at this corporate bonding retreat. They discover that Jim was going to close down the company. He stayed open specifically to accommodate this corporate retreat. And then, of course, Cindy Busby’s character, and Ben Hollingsworth character do this little online thing for Jim and get business booming. Before he knows it, the entire summer is booked with clients and they basically saved his company. It’s a feel-good movie with beautiful, stunning locations.

And, are you a good guy in this?

WIL: It’s almost like, wait!  Will is playing good guy? It’s funny because our director, Jason Bourque knows I’ve been playing bad guys for so long. Even the Christmas movie that I did with Terry Hatcher, Christmas at the Chalet, I went through such an arc. My character was so focused in his business and kind of unhappy because he was living his life for other people, and you don’t really realize that you might be slightly unhappy because you don’t take time to do inventory for yourself. In A Whitewater Romance, Jason had this idea that I was this really kind of ‘happy-go-lucky’ guy. And by the second day of shooting, he goes, “I think maybe Jim is a former military …” We both laughed because it was a subtle joke, because you know, I can be a little bit serious.

Photo: Willdevry

How was it to work with Ben and Cindy?

WIL: Great. Cindy being a lead, they set an example for everybody. Cindy is so low key and very friendly, and basically the trailer door is open if you want to discuss anything. Ben was also a producer on this. He might have had a little more stress on him than just sort of acting. But honestly, you couldn’t tell. Both of them had a good sense of humor. I would work with either one of them in a heartbeat again.

You have some exciting news to share; as you are about to be the lead in a new film?

WIL: Yes, I’m the lead in a new film called Pocket of Hope. It’s based on the true story of Chad Gaines, and I am playing Chad. It’s a beautiful movie. It’s in the present day with Chad talking with his daughter. He’s always been reluctant to share his past with her, and because there was a lot of trauma involved, he didn’t really want to put her through that. She’s no longer a young lady and so he feels now is the time to share that. There are a lot of strong flashbacks in the movie. It goes back between the past and the present, which I think is really engaging. The budget is well over a million dollars. We start filming at the end of May in Los Angeles, and then we will go on location in August to shoot the remaining scenes.

Courtesy/Willdevry

How do you feel about tackling a dramatic role such as this with tough subject matter?

WIL: It’s a heavy-duty role. There’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve prepared my whole life for these kinds of roles. It’s really exciting to play a true life individual, who has a story to tell. I think it’s a great honor for me and for the director/producer David Kohner Zuckerman, as well. David is wanting to do Chad’s story justice. We’ve got a good team for this. Robert Altman Jr’s, Cora Atlman, is playing my daughter. When you find a troupe that you like to work with and you can collaborate with, you stick together. So, we have David, as I mentioned and also Deran Sarafian, who is consulting on the project. Deran and I have been working on my other project together, Colt & McQueen. We are the luckiest people in the business right now to be working with Deran. He has had a lot of successful pilots that he’s done for Fox, ABC, and NBC and also Marvel and Netflix shows. He was also a producer on House for Fox.

Photo: Willdevry

In Colt & McQueen, you play a former LAPD detective, right?

WIL: Correct. He was basically dishonorably discharged for something that he didn’t do. He is going be trying to clear his name of any wrongdoings. However, in order to make a living, he sort of does these unsanctioned assignments for the captain of the LAPD, who is also on his way out. He’s a good guy. Kin Shriner (Scott, GH) is in it and he kind of plays a man of the streets who goes by “The Professor.” Rebecca Staab (Elizabeth, Port Charles, et al) is in it, and she plays the character with the code name “Leather Jacket” within the LAPD system. We go into production on it in July.

You’re doing your own projects now. That must be liberating in some ways and harder in others.

WIL: I just said, “Look, if I’m going to stay in this business, I have to have some control over my career now as opposed to just auditioning blindly.” That can be a frustrating process. I am learning a lot because I’ve never produced before or executive produced, but the effort is there, and the will to do so is there.

Photo: RStaabIG

Speaking of projects, you have another one you are working on, a romantic comedy called Christmas in Bordeaux. What is the theme of that one?

WIL: It’s a tale of family traditions, renewed passions, for love and life and spiritual and cultural awakenings. Finding value in the time we have left. And of course, a happy ending for all involved.

As an actor, when you finally get to the point where you get to act you probably really enjoy that. It’s just the challenges of all the things it takes to get there that can be daunting for a performer.

WIL: As an actor, you have to be so good and so comfortable and embrace the rejection. The rejection has to feed you. It can’t defeat you. However, I kind of do take everything personally. If a casting director doesn’t want to bring me in for something that’s their prerogative. I don’t really get angry about it, but I take it personally because I kind of feel like, they should bring me. I can’t just sit back and accept my fate based on other people’s ideas of what I’m capable of or not capable of. Sometimes my resume is a benefit, and sometimes it’s a detriment. It’s up to me to change the narrative.

Photo: JPI

What would you want to say to the GH fans who had been so supportive of you through the years?

WIL: It blows me away how loyal they are, and their passion. I want them to be of aware that. I’m excited to work for myself, and if that doesn’t work out, I am very comfortable going on to do something else with my life. Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) and I had talked about it at one point, and how she absolutely loves the business. I have other things that interest me and move me. I hope every single fan of Julian Jerome comes along on this journey with me.

Photo: JPI

Looking back, do you think your best role on the soaps was Michael Cambias on All My Children?

WIL: I think with Michael Cambias that All My Children destroyed the character. I sat down with the executive producer at the time, Jean Dadario Burke, and she said, “You’ll be here as long as you want. We did a focus group and you’ve got a 96% approval rating. That’s through the roof.” Two days later, I was called back into her office as they had fired the head writer. I was told Megan McTavish was coming back and they were going to make my character irredeemable, which as everybody knows, Michael Cambias went on to do horrible things to Erica Kane’s (Susan Lucci) family and then he was off the show.

Photo: JPI

Then, you went on to portray Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and the heartbreaking suicide storyline which saved Katie’s (Heather Tom) life, but cost Storm his.

WIL: Storm had a lot of potential. When you’re going through such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, horrific story like that, I wanted to give the audience a lot of credit. Soaps have a smart audience. I wanted them to go on the journey with me. I didn’t want to ruin it for them by playing the problem. I didn’t want to create the drama before it was time to pay the price, if you know what I mean. I allowed it to play out on-screen without any foreshadowing. I think that’s why it worked and that’s why it broke everybody’s heart, and I think that’s why it won a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama Series. Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) trusted me with a vehicle that ended up being the Ferrari for that year. I’m eternally grateful to him.

Photo: JPI

Do you ever check out General Hospital nowadays to see how your old castmates are doing and what is happening in Port Charles?

WIL:  I like to check in. I like to see what Kin Shriner (Scott) is up to, and I like to see who’s showing up and who’s going. I like to see Maura West (Ava) who is such a terrific actress and who played my on-screen sister. We had such a good working relationship and I hope she is on the show forever.  I was happy with my eight years on the show. I knew for 18 months it was time for me to leave. I knew in my heart the character was done. Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) was thrilled with how I left the show. Those six and a half years on General Hospital were a lot of fun. I really loved going to work.

So, will you be watching William deVry in ‘A Whitewater Romance’ this weekend on Hallmark? What do you think about his upcoming projects and roles? Miss him on daytime? Comment below.

 

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Interviews

(INTERVIEW) Y&R’s Peter Bergman Deconstructs Jack’s Desperate Move to Sober Up Nikki, the Repercussions Ahead, and the Loss of TV Mom, Marla Adams

This week on The Young and the Restless, the top-rated soap deliver first in its five decades. An episode aired involving only two characters; Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).

At its epicenter was Jack trying to stage his own intervention, of sorts, to get Nikki to stop drinking herself into oblivion as her battle with alcoholism escalated to a whole new level. Alone in a suite at the GCAC, Nikki has bottles of booze everywhere.

Jack, who is Nikki’s sponsor, finds her and for most of an entire episode tries everything he can think of to make her sober up, but she continues to hit rock bottom and doesn’t want to be saved. After she ridicules him in a drunken stupor, about how he failed her as her sponsor, it sends Jack, an addict himself, over the edge. Next thing you know, Jack is drinking with Nikki, and then takes it one step further and orders some pills from his dealer. And from there, things take a deadly turn.

Photo: JPI

Peter Bergman and Melody Thomas Scott have a long history on Y&R together, plus she was instrumental in bringing him to Genoa City in the first place. In story, Jack and Nikki were married from 1990-1994, but things came crashing down between them due to alcohol. Years later, in a case of history almost repeating itself, it once again almost destroyed their bond, but instead, the powerful moments bonded them together for life.

It is without question, that Peter Bergman and Melody Thomas Scott are Michael Fairman TV’s picks for the Power Performance of the Week, and for Bergman, who has already nabbed 24 Daytime Emmy nominations in his storied career with 3 previous wins, this performance surely will land him his 25th next year and maybe even Emmy gold.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Peter shortly after the heartbreaking episodes aired to get his thoughts on: Jack’s motivations throughout the key scenes, what will happen to Jack now, and the passing of his on-screen mother, Marla Adams (ex-Dina), who passed away on April 25th at the age of 85. Here’s what this iconic actor, who is known for the excellence of execution in his craft, had to share in our conversation below.

Photo: JPI

Well, my mouth dropped. I just could not believe how gut-wrenching this episode was. It was like a twist on the classic motion picture, Days of Wine and Roses, but on steroids.

PETER: That was a wild trip, I’ll tell you. As it was presented to me, it was the story of Jack going too far to help Nikki. When I got the script and saw that it was one of those great, ‘the tables turn,’ suddenly you’re on the receiving end. And normally in daytime television, the table doesn’t turn for about four days. And, in one episode, this giant shift happens. It was really rewarding to do that stuff with Melody with whom I have so much history. Some of my first scenes on the show were with Melody. My first couple years I was glued to Melody. So, it was pretty powerful for me. It really was. 

When you saw the script and you saw that Jack put his sobriety in jeopardy for Nikki, you’re left with all these questions, because it’s such a severe turn. I’ve been kind of tracking the response on social media, and some people are like, “Oh, that would never happen.” But we also have to take into account the dramatic license Y&R is taking here. What are your thoughts?

PETER: I think we have to give dramatic license. But I think too, Jack kept appealing to the goodness in her. It was covered by all of this addiction and alcohol. And the best way he could find her kindness, her goodness, was by putting himself in jeopardy and watching her come alive.

So, Jack knew what he was doing?

PETER: Yes. He knew what he was starting, and then it went too far. Jack knew he wanted to shock her into sobriety, shock her into clarity and he went too far and he’s going to pay for it.

Photo: JPI

Peter, this is an Emmy-performance! I’m calling it now.

PETER: Oh, well, it’s very, very, kind of you to say. Maybe I can get my 91st nomination. (Laughs) It was a crazy journey in so many ways. I found out about this episode, strangely enough, when one of the audio guys said to me, “Hey, I heard about your show next week with Melody?” I go. “What show is that?” And the sound guy said to me, “They were talking in the booth yesterday. It’s like an episode with only the two of you in it.” I thought he had to have heard that wrong. We’ve never, ever done that. Turns out, he was right. It was a day later that Josh Griffith (EP and head writer, Y&R) came to me and said, “Well, you ready?” I said, “Ready for what?” And, off we went …

The episode was like watching a two-person play in many ways.

PETER: It was just that, and it kind of came out of nowhere, but certainly didn’t come out of nowhere history-wise with these two characters. Obviously, Jack’s been Nikki’s sponsor here for a while. I think what I’m happiest about is this undercurrent that was there all along – that Jack really wanted to be there for her. Jack and Nikki were married once, and it really fell apart around alcohol. Jack was not the right person to be there for her. Back then, he was an enabler. He could not help her. Everything ended because of that and eventually, Victor (Eric Braeden) stepped in to take over Nikki’s sobriety and everything went. I think Jack has seen this opportunity to redeem himself. It meant the world to him. And suddenly that’s on the line, and it’s “Oh, God. I failed her again.”

That was the gut-wrenching part. You could see that there was a shift in Jack the moment Nikki went in on him and how he failed her as a sponsor.

PETER: I’m very glad to hear you say that. That really was the turning point. That was when Jack came up with this wacky, crazy, dangerous idea.

Photo: JPI

Does Jack believe what he said, when he started to drink, and says, “I’m Mr. Uptight?”

PETER: In fairness, it’s something she called him. They had to cut parts of this thing. Nikki was just tired of laced up, uptight Jack. She said it in those terms, and we ended up kind of keeping it in there as “Mr. Uptight” because it is kind of true. Jack’s gotten awfully straight-laced and buttoned up. And, well, you saw how he loosened up a bit. Wow!

What did you think about the story point that Jack has his drug dealer’s number on his phone?

PETER: That’s what addicts do. They tempt themselves. “You see, I’m stronger than my addiction. There’s a bottle of vodka in this house, and I am beating it.” That was Jack’s bottle of vodka in essence, in his phone.

Courtesy/CBS

So, when he started taking the pills, did he literally lose control of himself by taking them, or, was he just doing it to keep proving a point to Nikki?

PETER: Oh, no. The first one was very strategic and very carefully planned. The problem is once you fail, once you cross that line, you’re tempted to see what else is over here on the dark side. Before he knew it, he’d had three of them and then more, and then another after that and mixed with the alcohol. It pretty much did him in.

Courtesy/CBS

I’ve seen people in that kind of state, and you nailed it. There was the moment that was heartbreaking. His teeth were clenched from the drugs, he was so high on the pills combined with alcohol and he was asking Nikki to dance with him.

PETER: I have, too. I’m sad to say, I too, have been in that position. Going to help a friend out who ended up dying for all his bad choices.

Courtesy/CBS

Later, Jack gets resuscitated by the paramedics and then later Victor shows up. How is Jack feeling after his arch-nemesis walks in on the aftermath of this traumatic scene with his wife and Jack?

PETER: When the paramedics show up, frankly, Jack isn’t sure what they did. They gave him an injection to counteract the drugs in his system. Jack didn’t come around for quite a while. And when he does, Nikki is just shocked sober, trying to get help for Jack, Eventually, Victor shows up. Jack kind of has no leg to stand on, and he eventually makes it home. His son, Kyle (Michael Mealor) is the first person to see him in the house, and there’s clearly something very wrong with Jack. He’s trying to get back on track, but he’s just had a near-death experience.

Courtesy/CBS

And now of course, it’s going to be what will happen when Diane finds out what happened with Jack and Nikki.

PETER: Oh, God. The next thing is Diane walks in, and I mean this poor woman, he never called her. He never called her to say “I’m safe.” She spent a whole night worrying, and then she gets to find out where he actually was. Oh, that’s got to be reassuring – he was in hotel room holed up with Nikki – that should comfort her.

Photo: JPI

Originally, Diane warned Jack that is was a bad idea for him to be Nikki’s sponsor.

PETER: Oh, yeah. That’s the worst part. She saw this coming. Diane literally meets the Jack she never knew and her argument is, “Wait! You’re capable of this? Did you once think of me? Where do I fit into any of this?” It’s a pretty powerful argument. Jack didn’t call her to say, “I’m in a weird situation. I will be home as soon as I can. I am safe. I am fine.” He could have been dead as far as she was concerned. And she comes home and he wants to get back on track. Yeah. It’s bad. He’s like, “I’m sorry about that. And let’s get back to our life.” Is she not ready for that!

With what he just experienced, and taking pills again, do you think Jack is very worried that he won’t be able to help himself and he will go down a path like Nikki just did, where he can’t help himself and fight off his demons?  

PETER: I think Jack has convinced himself this is a one-off. This happened once, and it went way too far, and it’s not going to happen again. And, you know how dangerous that talk is.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Melody’s performance when Nikki hit rock bottom and was stinking drunk in the GCAC suite with Jack?

PETER: It was just stunning. I got to tell you, as an actor, the hardest thing in that sloppiness is you’ve got to keep the scene moving. She was just spectacular.

Courtesy/CBS

I know you don’t often get more than one take on the soaps, but what was the approach to taping this episode?

PETER: No, we don’t get a lot of takes, but for this, it was broken up a little bit such as, “Once we get to this point, we will move the cameras upstage, and we will pick up on that line. We will pick up there.” There was an 11-page scene and I think we did that in one or two takes. It was quite a lot. Incidentally, that week I had three other episodes to tape. Is that incredible? I had so many words in my head. I’m not complaining. They decided to do something that’s never been done before. They decided, “I want do it with Peter Bergman.” Of course, I am honored and flattered and really happy that it went as well as it did. I said to my wife, Mariellen, “What did you think of the episode?” She saw it before I did. She said, “Here’s what I think. I think it was very well- written.” You’ve got a drunk character there. She could say all kinds of stupid things, and she was still kind of sparky and snotty underneath that slurring and everything. She was also acerbic and sarcastic. There was a point at which, as you said, you watched Jack and everything just changed and that’s good writing.

As a viewer, to make this make sense to us, Jack had to do something drastic to stop Nikki from drinking because nothing else was working.

PETER: Yep, and then, he has all of that substance in him and alcohol, and he says, in the most clear terms, “I would do anything for you.” And it’s just, “yikes.” What just happened?

Photo: JPI

Eric Braeden was touting your performances on social media. He said, “Watched scenes between MELODY and PETER , NIKKI and JACK, and they were brilliant! Their scenes in the hotel! Performers of the damn year!!! It was very difficult to keep this up, scene after scene and not hit a bad note! You don’t realize how many pages of dialogue that was!” Did you happen to see that?

PETER: I didn’t know that. That’s very, very generous. I am beyond respectful to what Eric and Melody had built together, so that is giant generosity on his part to do that.

What do you think this means for Jack and Nikki? Do you think they could ever be together again as a couple given all they have been through together?

PETER: It’s hard for me to imagine they could be together. They’ve been through too much. She’s in rehab, and Jack will be answering to everyone’s vitriol about his bad choices. I think, when he sees Nikki again, she will be the only person that understands what they went through. It’s hard to define, this isn’t romantic. This is shared experience, shared trauma. This was such destructive behavior and desperation.

Courtesy/ABC

It was Melody who originally recommend you for the part of Jack Abbott, and here the two of you are decades later tearing up the screen and the scenes.

PETER: Yes, absolutely. Melody did recommend me for the part. As story goes, I was on All My Children. That job had come to an end. Back then, there were 12 or so daytime television magazines. I seemed to be on the cover of all of them, because everybody seemed a little surprised that All My Children decided to let Peter Bergman go. Melody was on a flight with Ed Scott, who was then executive producer of the show. She saw my picture on the cover and she pointed to him. They’d been looking for somebody to replace Terry Lester for months. And she said, “That’s Jack Abbott.” How she got that from what I did as Cliff I’ll never know. So, Ed called the casting people and put that in motion.

Photo: JPI

Here you are together years later in this exceptional episode.

PETER: And here we are! My first day of work at Y&R, I worked with Jess Walton (Jill) and Jerry Douglas (ex-John). My second day, I worked with Melody at the old Newman Set.

Photo: JPI

I wanted to get your thoughts on the passing of your on-screen mother, Marla Adams (ex-Dina).

PETER: The passing of Marla Adams is bittersweet. She was so happy to return to The Young and The Restless. I had a hand in it all happening. Tony Morina (former Co-EP, Y&R) had asked me one day, “Is there anything you haven’t played on this show?” And I said, “You know what? Jack has a mother out there somewhere who did more damage to him. Every woman who’s been with Jack has paid for her crimes. I think it would be interesting if we found his mom.” That kind of set it in motion. Tony asked me to call Marla to see if she was interested, and that’s how it all began. So, Marla showed up and was delighted to be there, and so eager to do great work. She was so ready to tell this powerful story of Alzheimer’s and dementia. And partway into this story, it was clear that she was struggling with some of that herself. So, when people were judging Best Supporting Actress the year that she won, they saw this woman who was clearly just on a different plane than all those characters in that scene. It was stunning. Marla was a sweet, sweet woman who brought me the story that for so long we forgot to tell about Jack.

Photo: JPI

If you were to tease what’s coming up next here with Jack, what would you say?

PETER: I’m really fascinated to see how Jack and Diane survive this. I hope we have established enough of a real relationship between these two that we can dig deep. I love those types of scenes, and that’s what I look forward to. If I can do those digging deep scenes with Susan Walters, I’d be thrilled. In story, Jack has got to keep his eye on Kyle. There’s a growing resentment, a growing discomfort. I’m not sure what it is, but Jack can see it in Kyle and it could spell trouble. He is, in fact, Jack Abbott’s son.

Photo: JPI

Should we be worried about Jack? Perhaps, another slip might be around the corner and he could be headed to rehab?

PETER: No. I think we’ve established pretty strongly that this was a one-time thing. Thank, God! He had to pay such a heavy price for one slip. There is just no one who thinks he made the right move there. So, it pulls him up short at the right time before we’re into a real dangerous territory. I think Jack’s going to be all right. However, the damage he did that night to the trust with his wife, to his relationship with Victor, to his son’s belief in him, he did some real damage. And cumulatively all of these things, Ashley’s (Eileen Davidson) mental issues, then Nikki, and Diane and Kyle, and all these things are weighing really heavily on Jack. I hope he’s strong enough to survive it.

What did you think of Peter Bergman’s performance in the two-person episode where Jack literally put his entire life on the line for Nikki, but went too far? What did you think will happen to Jack’s marriage to Diane? Will he be tempted to pop pills again and suffer a similar fate as his ex-wife, Nikki has with booze?

Share your thoughts via the comment section, but first check out a few of the scenes from Melody Thomas Scott’s and Peter’s work in the back-to-back episodes on this story.

 

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General Hospital

(INTERVIEW) Adam Huss Talks on His Latest GH Return, Maura West, Nicholas Chavez, and Being a Swiftie

This week, General Hospital fans were in for a surprise appearance when Adam Huss reappeared as Nikolas Cassadine while serving jail time in Pentonville. He also had a very intriguing visitor, his ex, Ava Jerome (Maura West)!

In the key scenes, Ava seemingly tells Nikolas, who can do nothing about the situation, how she is getting closer to Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and within his inner-sanctum, much to Nikolas’ chagrin. For Huss, those scenes were difficult to shoot, because in real-life he has just lost his beloved grandmother, but he soldiered through and delivered an effective performance.

Adam has had quite the adventure as GH’s dark prince of the Cassadine clan. Having first subbed for former Nikolas, Marcus Coloma, a few times and over a few years time, then taking over the role and being instrumental in moving story forward, but yet not always physically on the canvas. Since taking over the role, Huss has put his own spin on Nikolas, while delivering some top-notch performances. Look no further than in scenes with the exited Nicholas Chavez (Spencer), the aforementioned West, GH icon Genie Francis (Laura), or the twins that the play Baby Ace (Joey Clay, who shares the role with twin brother Jay) to name but a few.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adam to get his thoughts on: Nikolas’ emotional state now, where he thinks the storyline may head in the future, his co-stars, reflecting on what the late Tyler Christopher (ex-Nikolas) brought to the role, and yes, some banter with us about Taylor Swift!  Check out what Adam had to say below.

Courtesy/ABC

Nikolas is kind of the gift that keeps on giving, as you keep popping back up on GH. Just when you think the show literally has written him off, he makes a return. Look no further than on Monday’s April 29th episode when he gets a visit from Ava while in prison.

ADAM: Listen, I’ve really fallen in love with playing the character. I’ve stated that I’m super passionate about it. I really like that the more I delve into his backstory, I learn about the layers of who he is. Watching Tyler Christopher’s (ex-Nikolas) work, because he really originated that character, I become even more enthusiastic about it. I have so much respect for this medium as it is. I’m a fan of TV and film. I am coming in to the story sometimes not knowing where Nikolas may be mentally. So, it’s been nice to be guided once you’re on set. You can’t come in with just your ideas and you have to be open to the collaboration. It’s been a challenge, but a lot of fun.

In the scenes that just aired opposite Maura West, it seemed you could tell that Nikolas still cared for Ava.

ADAM: I thought that was a happy surprise. I am so fond of Maura as a person. I could say that we’ve mutually grown closer each time I come in and play the part. I don’t think Ava knew what she was going to really get when she came to see Nikolas. When he saw her, I think he was just taken with her. It was interesting. There was one moment when she’s talking about Sonny. I felt as if Nikolas didn’t want to hear this, but I was advised by our director, Allison Reames Smith and Frank Valentini (EP, GH), “Remember, Nikolas hasn’t seen her in months and this is really exciting for him to be sitting across from her. ” So that really fed the motivation.

Courtesy/ABC

Nikolas gets an earful from Ava, and he is left with her secret, which is the dose of medication in Sonny’s (Maurice Benard) pills are causing him to act erratic. Ava kind of admitted to Nikolas what was going on and what she was planning.

ADAM: She did, and you’re right. I think she told him because it was safe, and in her mind he’s not going anywhere.

However, Nikolas isn’t always on the up and up, either.

ADAM:  No, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. This is all speculation, but maybe to get her away from Sonny he uses the information she shared. I think Nikolas is thinking that he doesn’t want to see her get hurt, and, “I cannot lose another person right now. I lost my newborn son,” in that, he is not going to raise him. And even bigger, he lost his son Spencer who he believes is gone. So, imagine then losing the love of his life. Their last interactions around New Year’s Eve showed that he still had feelings for her.

Photo: ABC

So, when you first met Maura, what was your reaction to this daytime dynamo?

ADAM: From day one, she was so lovely to me. I tested with her. I got to know her in that moment. She was just so welcoming and wanted me to succeed. Then, when I did fill in for Marcus Coloma, the first time, she and Ken Shriner (Scott) were super lovely. It was like, “You’re my scene partner today. You are Nikolas today. Let’s have fun.” Each time I came in to work, I got the same thing, if not more – more trust, more openness and kindness. Then, as you’re aware, my grandma passed right before these most recent scenes. Maura was so lovely about it. We were running lines, but she just wanted to stop and talk about it for a second. I almost didn’t want to come to work. I just wanted to get home. Maura really got me focused. It was something you wanted to get off your chest with somebody. Then we filmed, and she called me after, and just made sure I was doing alright. I said to Maura, “You are a class act, you know that. Thank you so much.”  I am so glad I didn’t have to miss the funeral and I still got to film at General Hospital, which my grandma loved to watch me on.

Courtesy/AHussIG

Now. did you have any context when you started that your on-screen mother was Genie Francis (Laura)?

ADAM: I did. In the nineties, when I was on Long Island in college and working as a DJ in the summers, I just remember seeing soap opera magazine covers. I’d see that triangle between Nikolas, Lucky and Elizabeth. So, I very much knew of the world that those people were part of. I knew how big the Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura wedding was and all of that. I definitely knew the legacy I was coming into. When I read these sides for the role, I was like, “I think this is Nikolas Cassadine!” Later, when I was on the show, and doing scenes with Genie, where Laura was warning Nikolas about making up with Spencer, she said, “You’re doing wonderful work.” To hear that from her was a big sigh of relief for me. I love connecting with actors in the eyes. I know when things are cooking when you almost feel like magnets in your eyes with another actor, because you’re drawing that emotion through them. The eyes are the windows of the soul, right? I felt that with Genie, Maura and Nicholas Chavez, too. You feel that magnet pull and it’s so beautiful.

Photo: ABC

I’m going over your gut-wrenching scenes in my head. There was obviously when Spencer hands baby Ace  to Nikolas, and then the baby is so taken with you, and the scenes where Spencer tells Nikolas how much he loved him as a young boy and vice-versa.

ADAM: The three scenes you just mentioned are highlights for me in shooting the show thus far. Those moments felt so authentic to me. As soon as Spencer got Ace in my arms, I just would melt, and it made me emotional just to hold him. And then, he really took to me. His mom was like,”I think you kind of remind him of his father,” because there is a similar energy. He’s just a great little actor and a great little empath. The moment with him laying his head on my chest was so emotional. In the one scene with Nicholas Chavez, he’s supposed to not hand me Ace till the end, but as soon as we started the scene, the baby reached out to me with this smile. Nick is like, “OK, here you go.” We sort of had to improv around it a little bit, but it was amazing.

Courtesy/ABC

However, then there is the scene where Spencer cries about how Nikolas meant everything to him, too.

ADAM: I think Nikolas went to Spencer with the intention of like, “I’m taking this baby no matter what. And if I have to get through my son, I’m going, too.” There was so much power in the words that those writers chose especially when Spencer goes, “You were my whole world” as a child. Nikolas was saying how I loved him fiercely as a kid. I was watching a lot of those scenes between Nicolas Bechtel (ex-Spencer) and Tyler Christopher. That kid was such a dynamo, too, and he was so cute. Their bond stuck with me.

Courtesy/ABC

You are one busy actor. I check in on your Instagram and you are either in one town or the other shooting a horror film or other projects.

ADAM: Not just horror films, there’s a mix of Hallmark, too. I’m super excited about an indie film I did called Pieces of Lilo. It’s about an estranged father and son. In it, my father gets sick and I get stuck basically taking care of him. And then he passes and when I’m burying him, all these memories start flooding back. It’s this sort of flashback of basically trauma and how this trauma affected, my character, Jerry, in the present day. I fought for this part and I got it. We just wrapped in March. I’m excited about that. Next week, I am off to Long Island to do a rom-com called The Wedding Bell.

Don’t you also have a role in an upcoming Melrose Place-type streaming soap?

ADAM: Oh yes. I wish it was the Melrose Place reboot! I did work with Daphne Zuniga on a Lifetime movie, though. She was awesome, and we’re friends, so who knows? It’s called The BLVD and I’ve taped it already. There’s supposedly five more episodes they’re going to shoot soon. So, we finished the pilot and I play one of the one of the clients of the PR firm. It’s all about  cutthroat PR in Hollywood.

Photo: JPI

I know the fans really enjoy you in the part of Nikolas. However, the worst thing in soaps, I think, for any actor is having to replace a very well-known actor in a part; whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent. People just don’t like change. As a recast, you have to kind of go through that difficult part of waiting to be accepted by the audience. They often say how they don’t like the actor and then somewhere along the way, they are like “Oh! I love him in the part.” How has it been for you to ride that wave of, you’re not Tyler Christopher, you’re not Marcus Coloma, but now it’s you playing Nikolas?

ADAM: I get it. You want your original person to be the person, and sometimes they just can’t, and in soap operas, it’s more common. I also know it’s always polarizing. There were days in the beginning where I was like, “Oh, my God! Look at all these wonderful comments.”  Then it’s, “Oh, my God.” and as you’re scrolling, you see “I’m a hideous monster” to these people. I think you just have to have a very healthy perspective. Thankfully, I do have tools in my life to secure my foundation of who I am. And sure, on those vulnerable days or those ambiguous days where you don’t know your future at work, it could weigh on you. You could think of every, “Oh, my God! Everybody hates me.” I am so glad and grateful that people have come around. You’re not going to please everybody. It’s just the nature of what we live in now. I will say, the warm embrace and the acceptance, and people who have really come around, has moved me and then they’re feeling the same way about my performances. When I say I’m humbled by it, I’m blown away, it’s true.  I used to get annoyed at Taylor Swift when she would always say that. I’m like, “All right, honey, you’re selling millions of copies. Accept it.” But it is humbling, because you know how critical people can be, and for it to really start to change overtime, helps me every time I hear it.

Photo: DisneyPlus

Speaking of Taylor Swift, are you a Swiftie?

ADAM: I am a Swiftie, sure. I didn’t go to Taylor’s concert. I wanted to. But then, when my friend showed me The Eras Tour on Disney Plus, I was like, “That was amazing. That was like the best time.” I’d have a smile on my face for three and a half hours if I was at her concert. So, yes.

Did you listen to Taylor’s new album, Tortured Poets Department yet?

ADAM: Yes. I’ve been bouncing around in there. There are a lot of songs.

It’s a lot of songs. It took me a little bit to warm up to it. And now, just like in true Taylor Swift fashion, I’m like, “You know what? This track or that track is really good.”

ADAM: Yeah, at first they all sound the same for a minute.

So I wonder, how does Taylor Swift manage to suck us in all the time? 

ADAM: I know. I think it works whenever someone’s just raw and honest. Taylor gets a lot of flak for talking about her exes and stuff in her songs, but that’s her life experience. We feel that and we resonate with that, especially younger girls, or anyone really, can relate to these like breakups and this heartache. I think that’s where she gets you.

Courtesy/ABC

Hopefully soon, it’d be nice to see Nikolas not in prison orange. So, he gets out of jail and where does he go then?

ADAM: I don’t want him on the run because that’s the whole reason he came to prison, you know, to reform himself. So, for me, that was a nice sign of like, “Hey, maybe the reformation comes and you finally get to be free.” Maybe Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) gets her law degree back and then she’ll help him get out. Wyndemere’s gone. It’s out of his hands. I think it’s a good time for him to start a different life and for us to see Nikolas in different stories. Let’s see a different person trying to put his family back together and falling in love again. If it’s Ava, wonderful, would love that. I’d love to see a really great, big epic love story like he had in the past. I try to infuse that when Nikolas is sitting across from Ava. The last thing I want to say is, I wish I was there at GH more, too. However, I really trust in the process and the writers, and the way things unfold. So, I’m hoping that it all leads to a beautiful place.

What did you think about the scenes this week on GH between Ava and Nikolas? Do you hope Adam Huss is back on-screen sooner than later? What are some of your favorite scenes with him thus far? Comment below, but ICYMI, below are the touching scenes between Spencer, Ace and Nikolas that GH fans are still buzzing about.

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